Benton Township trustees approve engineering costs

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP – The township is moving forward with work on its sewer lines after approving more than $105,000 in engineering and surveying bids during Tuesday’s board meeting.

Engineering for the construction phase of the sewer replacement on Empire Avenue in Benton Township, from M-139 to Crystal Avenue, was bid out and accepted by the board for $62,400.

Services for the sewer replacement on Lafayette Drive, Ridgeway Street, McKann Avenue and Odgen Avenue was bid out for $42,700.

The sewer replacement projects are being handled by Midwest Civil Engineers Inc., a South Haven-based firm. According to its website, MCE specializes in municipal water, sanitary sewer systems and storm drain systems.

More specifically, sewer reconstruction on Lafayette Drive will be from Madeline Avenue to Ridgeway Street, work on Ridgeway Street will be from Lafayette Drive to North Shore Drive, the McKann Avenue sewer replacement is from Hurd Avenue to Milton Street, and the sewer line on Odgen Avenue will be rebuilt between Napier Avenue to about 500 feet south of McKann Avenue.

Superintendent Elden Piontek said money for these sewer replacements would come from the township’s sewer fund.

“This is just the engineering costs for the construction phase of which we have not approved yet,” he said. “We approved the design, but not the engineering costs. We would like to begin this project fairly soon, so we need approval from the board.”

Piontek said construction could start as early as next week.

This came as a result of the $1.2 million bond the township sold earlier this year to finance repairs of its sanitary sewer system.

Other agenda items

Township Assessor Antoinette Swisher was awarded a three-year contract at the meeting. Swisher has been the township assessor since 2007.

In response to one of Trustee Carolyn Fowler’s questions, Clerk Carolyn Phillips said there were no major changes from the assessor’s previous contract. Swisher was paid $64,000 a year, but will get a $67,913 annual salary in the new pact.

Piontek said Swisher’s increased salary was in line with what other municipal employees receive on an annual basis.

Supervisor Kevin White announced there will be a Township Board workshop at 9:30 a.m. July 31 in the township’s Municipal Building. The board’s next regular meeting is at 5:30 p.m. July 21.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 8, 2015)


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